A 4-5 record to end their season which included a two game winning streak and winning two of their last three games might’ve been far fetched for Perry’s football team that began this past season with just one win in five games.
After opening up their season with a road 38-31 road win over the North Polk Comets, the Bluejays suffered four straight losses.
It wasn’t just losses it was the way they were losing. During that four game stretch the Bluejays were outscored a combined 148-38, an almost point per game average for a team that was giving up 37.
Still that didn’t deter both Bluejays’ co-head coaches, Ben Coy and Matt Hardy from continuing to push their team and work on any deficiencies.
There were a number of reasons our team was able to bounce back and win three of four games to end the season, explained Coy at the team’s final game of the year.
“Offensively the guys looked more comfortable with the playbook. The O-line also did a better job with protection,” Coy said after defeating the Cadets of Iowa Falls-Alden.
Coy credited the turnaround, including other factors, to the development and improvement of senior starting quarterback Alexis Garrido and his receiving core.
“Alexis did a nice job of getting rid of the ball on time or knowing when to tuck it and run. The receivers made plays when the opportunities came their way,” Coy said.
It was a struggle for the veteran who through the first five games was 44-for-99 for 531 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions for a 44.4 completion percentage.
Garrido and the offense turned it all around in the second half of the season connecting on 51 percent of his passes - 48-of-93, for 765 yards with eight TDs and three interceptions.
The ground game also finished the season with stronger second half numbers.
In their first five games the squad tallied 432 yards on 146 carries for an average yards per carry of three with three TDs.
In their final four games the team churned out 493 yards on just 99 carries - an almost 5-yards per carry clip with six TDs.
“A lot of things came to together at the right time and much of that is credited to their work ethic during practice,” Coy said. “The last couple of weeks, for the most part, our attention to detail was on point and our effort was as good as it had been all year. Our defense did a great job of eliminating big plays.”